Kirsty Brocklehurst, from Lancaster Girl’s Grammer School, was named winner of the Young Researchers Scheme at the University of Central Lancashire for her intern work at the University over the summer. She was awareded this honour at the intern poster exhibition, where interns presented the results from their summer research projects.
Kirsty was one of 16 A-level students placed in research teams across the University to work with academic staff and undergraduate research interns. This gave the opportunity for the students to experience what it means to do academic research and play an active role in research programmes across the university.
She was placed with the astrophysics group working with Dr Daniel Brown, and undergraduate intern Alex Park to help develop outreach material to promote the research work that UCLan solar physicists do investigating the dynamics of the Sun’s atmosphere.
Using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, Kirsty designed images for outreach material such as postcards and fridge magnets. but with an added twist. Each item has a QR code attached that people can scan with their mobile phones to access a movie of the image. The movie below was designed by Kirsty for use in conjunction with a postcard.
Speaking of her experience, Kirsty said “In only a week I learned the essentials of computer coding and I really enjoyed working with both UCLan undergraduate students and academic staff. The project has given me a feel for university life and stretched me academically by giving me the chance to work at a higher level.”
Of the 16 A-level interns and 50 Undergraduate interns hosted by the University over the summer on this scheme, 4 A-level students and 5 undergraduate students were placed with the astrophysics group.